Do I Need Planning Permission for a Garden Sauna?

Are you thinking about adding a sauna to your garden? Before you start building, it’s important to know if you need planning permission. This is like getting the green light from the government to build something. In this blog, we’ll talk about whether you need one for your garden sauna log cabin. By the end, you’ll know if you need it and what to do next if you do. Keep reading!

Planning Permission Explained

Planning permission is where you ask for permission from your local government. It’s necessary when building something new or making big changes to your garden room. This ensures that constructions are safe and suitable for the area. Ultimately making sure it won’t cause problems for neighbours or the environment. If the whole neighbourhood built big things without asking, it could get chaotic!

Let’s use a garden sauna cabin, for instance. Since you’ll be using an outdoor cabin, you’ll likely need permission from the government first. From there, authorities will see if your project is a green light or a red one. If you don’t, they might ask you to take it down or even give you a fine. It’s always better to ask first to avoid any trouble later on.

Regulations Regarding Garden Saunas

A sleek garden sauna cabin with flat wood boards and large glass doors. It sits in a manicured garden with topiary plants, stepping stones, and modern landscaping, exuding a tranquil, luxurious atmosphere for relaxation.

Specific regulations and guidelines vary depending on where you live. However, some common factors usually influence whether you need planning permission.

Say you own a corner log cabin, and it’s large or located close to your property boundary. It might need permission to make sure it doesn’t disrupt your neighbours or violate zoning rules. Additionally, if the sauna is meant to stay in place permanently, like a shed, it’s more likely to require one.

We recommend asking your local planning department about the rules for garden saunas. This helps ensure your project follows the rules and avoids problems later on.

Factors Influencing Planning Permission

In the UK, whether you need permission to build a garden sauna depends on a few things. These factors often include:

  • the size of the sauna
  • its location within your garden
  • whether it’s considered a permanent structure

If your sauna is small and doesn’t take up too much space, you might not need permission. This is called permitted development rights. But if your sauna is big or you plan to keep it there permanently, you’ll likely need permission.

Your local council has rules about how big structures can be and where you can put them. These rules might cover things like how tall the cabin can be or where it can sit in your garden. To ensure you follow all the rules, talk to your local planning department. They can tell you what’s allowed and what you need to do to stay within the rules.

Exceptions and Exemptions

Your garden sauna project may not require planning permission due to the following:

  • Permitted development rights. This means your sauna falls within specific size and placement limits set by the government. It may be considered “permitted development,” meaning you don’t need planning permission.
  • Portable saunas. These are easily moved and don’t create permanent structures, such as inflatable hot tubs.
  • Temporary structures. If your sauna is intended to be temporary, it may not need planning permission. It could be a pop-up sauna for a short event or festival, for instance.
  • Listed building or conservation area. In some cases, exemptions may apply to properties located in listed buildings or conservation areas. A listed building is one of historical or architectural importance, protected by law. Meanwhile, a conservation area is a place with special historical or architectural significance. Even so, it’s essential to check with local authorities, as extra rules may apply.

Before you start, check if your sauna project qualifies for these exceptions. If you’re not sure, again, reach out to your local planning department.

Applying for Planning Permission

If you find out you need permission for your garden sauna, here’s what to do:

  1. Reach out to your local council’s planning department to start the process. They’ll guide you through the application.
  2. You’ll need to fill out an application form. You’ll be asked to provide details about your proposed sauna, such as its size, location, and materials.
  3. Along with the application form, you may need to provide additional documents. This can include site plans, drawings, and photographs.
  4. There’s usually a fee associated with applying for planning permission. Make sure to pay this when you submit your application.
  5. Once you’ve submitted your application, the council will review it and make a decision. This process can take several weeks, so be patient.
  6. If approved, you’ll receive permission to proceed with the project. If not, the council may provide feedback or request changes before reconsidering.


Figuring out if you need permission for your garden sauna is super important. By knowing the rules, you can make sure everything’s okay and save trouble later on. Just make sure you’ve got the green light before you start. With the right info and steps, you’ll be relaxing in your sauna worry-free! Not convinced yet? Explore all the benefits of a garden sauna.

If you’re thinking of building one, then our ‘How to Make a Garden Sauna Cabin’ guide comes in handy. Garden Buildings Direct also offers a range of log cabins for sale you can use, so make sure to check them out!